In re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., No. 09-31156 - U.S. Fifth Circuit
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In re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., No. 09-31156

Appeal by Objectors to Hurricane Settlement

In In re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., No. 09-31156, an appeal by objecting members of a proposed settlement class of plaintiffs damaged or injured by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita, seeking review of the district court's certification of a limited fund mandatory class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(1)(B) and its approval of a final class settlement, the court reversed where 1) the Supreme Court's opinion in Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., 527 U.S. 815 (1999), required decertification of the mandatory class because the settlement failed to provide a procedure for distribution of the settlement fund that treated class claimants equitably amongst themselves; and 2) the settlement was not fair, reasonable and adequate because its proponents failed to show that the class members would receive some benefit in exchange for the divestment of their due process rights in a mandatory class settlement.

 

As the court wrote:  "Appellants, objecting members of a proposed settlement class of plaintiffs damaged or injured by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita, seek review of the district court's certification of a limited fund mandatory class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(1)(B) and its approval of a final class settlement. We hold that the Supreme Court's opinion in Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., 527 U.S. 815 (1999), requires decertification of the mandatory class because the settlement fails to provide a procedure for distribution of the settlement fund that treats class claimants equitably amongst themselves."

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